Tuesday, September 26, 2017 13:05

Cognitive Therapy Against Depresion

Posted by on Wednesday, September 23, 2009, 15:15
This news item was posted in Depression category and has 0 Comments so far.

Among the many different types of psychotherapy that are effective in treating depression, by far the most studied is cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy concentrates on correction the distortions in thinking and perception that underlie and reinforce depressed mode.

People with depression spend most of their waking hours preoccupied with dismal thoughts about themselves, the world around them, and their future. They are flooded with so-called “automatic negative thoughts” of being worthless, reprehensible, despicable, burdensome, and doomed. Under the influence of depression, thinking becomes negatively distorted so that every event, comment, or feeling is experienced as damning evidence of inadequacies.

For example, if something bad happens, it is automatically your fault, a sign of personal inadequacy, and proof that nothing will ever work out right for you. One the other hand, if something positive happens, your immediate assumption or that it is just dump luck that is limited to this one specific and that it is unlikely ever to occur again.

The goal in cognitive therapy is for you to take a large mental step back to gain better perspective. Identify your automatic negative thoughts for what they are: distortions that are the by-products of your depression. Once such “bad thinking” is identified, the next step is to challenge it with more rational alternatives.

Let’s say you are preoccupied with the though that you are a complete failure as a husband and father because you are unable to get out of bed. The therapist would encourage you to label this unreasonably harsh self-evaluation as a “symptom” of depression and suggest you counteract it with a more realistic alternative explanation. (“my inability to get out of bed is no more than a temporary result of my being clinically depressed and is not at all a reflection of my overall value as a person.”

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